Getting to know Ana Maria was an unexpected, happy occurrence in my life this year. We, along with our husbands, were members of the BYU ballroom company together while we were in college, and the four of us carpooled to a competition in Vegas a few years ago. While we haven’t seen much of each other since then, we both ended up moving to Salt Lake County around the same time and also happened to have our first-born babies 2 months apart. Circumstances just made it very possible for us to be friends, and I am glad it happened that way.
To be quite honest, while I thought she was nice, I did not feel like I could identify with Ana Maria that much when we first met. In fact, we have since pointed out that she is more like Raimo (spontaneous, enthusiastic, outgoing, happy) and I am more like her husband, Ryan (organized, strategic, realistic, serious). But as we have spent more time together, we have connected in many different ways and have been able to share our early experiences with motherhood. I have liked the fact that she is all those things that I am not, and I’ve been glad to spend a lot of time with an optimist. It is always a pick-me-up! I also enjoy the fact that she is always glad to talk about the gospel with me–it is great to be able to share thoughts, ideas, and even scriptures on various aspects of the gospel with a friend.
Ana Maria is constantly exemplifying service. It is just built into her personality–she is always looking for ways to help me out, make my day easier, or just do something for someone else. Being more introverted and focused on my own family, this giving nature is not something that comes naturally to me but is something I am trying to work on. I have been grateful for her little acts of service, and even for the times she offered and I didn’t take her up on it. She is someone I know I can call (and would feel comfortable calling) if I were ever in a bind. And I know she would be THRILLED (you must know that she always speaks in capital letters). Now if only she will allow me to do the same for her sometimes!!
We’ve bonded over newborns, good food, movie nights, sleep training, zombie sleepless-ness, ballroom costumes, mall walks, husband-less nights, marital ballroom partnership “bliss”, and bowls of ice cream. It is a really fun friendship, and it could not have happened at a better time in my life.
And now, the cuteness that is our babies: